A senior member of a far-right Italian political party tipped to win general elections this month has appealed to state broadcaster Rai not to screen an episode of the globally popular children’s cartoon series Peppa Pig over the inclusion of a same-sex couple in its cast of characters.
The episode, called Families, was shown for the first time in the UK on Tuesday, and features two co-parenting lesbian polar bears. A character called Penny announces: “I live with my mummy and my other mummy. One mummy is a doctor and one mummy cooks spaghetti.” The family then sit down for a meal together.
Federico Mollicone, Brothers of Italy’s culture spokesperson, said broadcasting the episode in Italy would be “unacceptable”.
“We cannot accept gender indoctrination,” he told La Stampa. “Once again the politically correct has struck, at the expense of our children. Can’t children just be children?”
He added: “We ask Rai, which buys the rights to the Peppa Pig series in Italy with a fee from all Italians, not to broadcast the episode in question on any channel or web platform.”
It was the first time a LGBTQ+ couple had been featured in the 18-year history of Peppa Pig, which was created by the British animators Mark Baker and Neville Astley. The move followed an online petition demanding Peppa Pig include a same-sex couple.
It is unclear when the episode will be shown in Italy, but Brothers of Italy, whose leader, Giorgia Meloni, is poised to become the next prime minister, is against same-sex marriage and parenting.
Her party also contributed to preventing an anti-homophobia law, drafted by the gay Democratic party politician, Alessandro Zan, from being passed in parliament last year.
Zan wrote on Twitter: “Brothers of Italy raises the alarm, a new enemy is besieging the nation: Peppa Pig.”